[Answered] There is a strong case for reviving philanthropy and community support for higher education in India. Elaborate and also highlight what India can learn from Nordic countries in this domain.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain why there is need for reviving philanthropy and community support for higher education in India. Also explain what India can learn from Nordic countries in this domain.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.

Higher education is a powerful tool to build a modern, value-based, knowledge based, culture based, and peaceful society which can lead the country towards becoming super power in the world. India has a publicly funded higher education system that is the third largest in the world, next to the United States and China.

The spending on higher education, as a percentage of government expenditure, has stagnated at 1.3-1.5% since 2012. There is an urgent need for reviving philanthropy and community support for higher education, because this step can solve following problems:

  • High tuition fees: In India, the burden of tuition fees in professional courses is becoming unbearable. Besides, it is causing a serious concern of reducing quality professional education.
  • Educational loans: Educational loans, even with government collateral guarantee, will cause damage to the development and public welfare.
  • Poor global rankings: Some of the best institutions of higher education in India do not even fall under the top 100 Universities category. This is because there is hardly any public spending in research and development in India.
  • Low enrolment ratio: The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of India in higher education is only 25.2% which is quite low as compared to the developed and other major developing countries.
  • Infrastructure: Due to the budget deficit, corruption and lobbying by the vested interest group (Education Mafias), public sector universities in India lack the necessary infrastructure. Even the Private sector is not upto the mark as per the global standard.

What India can learn from Nordic countries?

  • The Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) provide free higher education to their people. This ensures that students receive quality education in the streams that they desire rather than pursuing streams that allow them to earn highly so as to repay their student debt.
  • All Nordic countries provide equal opportunities in the education system. The Nordic countries have measures in place to promote gender equality and assist students from lower socio-economic categories to gain access to higher education.
  • Education is free and publicly funded and the welfare-state mentality makes way for an inclusive and cooperative way of learning.

India cannot progress until its higher education system is qualitatively strong enough because this poor quality is resulting in low employability, low performance of the specialized individuals, lack of innovative and creative ideas etc. which are the key elements of success and progress in present time.

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